IMO view: Why is social networking so anti-social?
Remember the days when people would speak face to face, travel miles to talk to someone or write letters? How about when everyone used MSN Messenger, the very early version of digital communication?
Sounds like a long time ago but in reality social networking sites have only been around since 1997 when SixDegrees.com was launched.
However, MySpace was the first major social networking site and in 2005, even had more views than Google.
The public, in their own way, formed their own online PR or even digital PR where people promoted themselves,
their favorite artists, networked or connected through their interests.
People could be themselves, be someone else or pretend to be someone they’re not and it started to become a popularity contest where people became obsessed with how many friends they had and how good looking they were and suddenly it seemed there was a need for crisis management in order to contain egos.
The progression lead to the popularity of Facebook, which in 2009, became the largest social networking site in the world. Everyone was using it, whether at school or work and just to message the person sitting in the same room, while ignoring them in real life.
It became an obsession to see if you had new messages or invitations from someone and helped fill that superficial void of feeling unpopular.
Then came Twitter, the simpler social networking site where fans could easily connect directly with their favorite celebrities, but in only 140 characters.
Not to mention the fact that they might not even bother replying to you but millions moved to this site anyway in desperation of being able to speak to their idols.
Then there are others who enlighten the world on their fascinating lives, such as sitting on a bench or eating breakfast. It has become a form of Internet stalking, finding out what “interesting” things people are doing in their lives.
Sadly, one of the most interesting and amusing things about using these sites is the trash talk (trolling) about other people and reading other people’s similar comments. This does keep the public involved though as the connection with media relations in sealed with trending and seeing what is the most talked about subject at that time.
The worst thing is, if you use social networking sites simply to reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, you are constantly forced to site hop in order to keep in touch with your online address book.
Here’s a better idea, stop pretending that whatever famous person you love is your friend because they happened to have “liked” or “retweeted” your status.
Call your real friends if you have any, meet new people face to face, have a life outside of this digital world everyone seems to be so absorbed in.
These people are the real ones who deserve anti-social behavior orders, not those who make too much noise, drink on the streets or sniff glue.